A show is a feature of a network’s lineup. A season is a release, when a show goes on hiatus (aka a feature disappears) at minimum an explanation is needed. Community is a show, each season, that has had some of the best episodes of any TV show I have seen in the last few years. This season is no exception (“Remidial Chaos Theory”, shown in parallel timelines above, is fun to watch every time).
While it would have been nice if NBC had included a mention of the series to give fans some indication of what they’re thinking, at least they haven’t cancelled it (yet) or sentenced the comedy to some other night on television. Short of airing it via picture-in-picture over episodes of Law & Order: SVU, it’s unlikely that the series will score more viewers on any other night besides Thursdays. Aside from cancellation, the worst case scenario would be for NBC to do to Community what CBS almost did to Rules of Engagement in sentencing it to Saturday night.
It seems NBC feels they have another Friday Night Lights. And they are planning on splintering the viewer base like they did with that critically acclaimed drama even more by doing webisodes, some kind of alternate asynchronous delivery based upon the television provider (Directv, Comcast, Time Warner, etc.) you use.
But at least with Friday Night Lights there was warning. With Community, nothing. Just a mid-season update with the show conveniently disappeared. It’s weird that 3.49 million/week is not even worth a pro-active blurb unless you again consider, we are not the customer, we are the product.
In my opinion our watching eyes would best be served to advertisers on tier 2 cable or special on demand delivery (eg Hulu Plus, Netflix or provider based on Demand). Comedy Central, USA, TNT and TBS have been able to support wide variety of niche shows of varying degrees of the critical acclaim spectrum. The NBC Universal family has plenty of options. Nothing wrong with that if it allows creators of shows like Arrested Development and/or a Community to have less pressure to be crowd pleasers and affords them more freedom to grow the characters past two and a half seasons of development.